Introduction

Report
What is macroecology?
Macroecology deals with ecological patterns and processes at
various scales
In particular macroecology tries to identify and to explain
regional to global patterns of species diversity, spatial and
temporal distributions and energy use
Macroecology is closely linked to
biogeography and evolutionary ecology
Biogeography
Evolutionary Ecology
Tries to understand large scale
distributions of living thinks
Tries to understand patterns of
species diversity through
evolutionary history
Macroecology
Tries to link both disciplines
and to explain larges scale
ecological patterns and
processes in space and time
Important: The focus is on explanation and model building and not on
simple description.
Modern ecology is not a faunistic or floristic exercise.
It uses larges scale data sets to build and verify its theories about the causes
of observed patterns.
A standard method of macroecology is meta-analysis.
Macroecology has deep ecological roots but only recent times saw
the tranformation to an analytical explanatory science
Land plant of Britain from Watson (1859)
Number of species
Biotic interactions
10000
y = 433.2x 0.10
R 2 = 0.98
Species
assemblage
rules
Niche
1000
Biogeography
History
Community
structure
100
1
100
10000
Life
histrory
traits
Phenology
Chance processes
Character evolution
Area [miles 2 ]
Species – area relationship
Neutral models,
Ecological scaling
and
Metabolic theory
Description
Explanation
Phylogenetic
constraints
z
10000000
Landscape
processes in
evolutionary time
Continental
processes in
evolutionary time
Processes
in ecological
time
Landscape
processes
Continental
processes in
ecological time
Annual
ecosystem
processes
Annual regional
species turnover
1000000
Temporal scale [days]
Ecological processes
Evolutionary processes
Macroecology
100000
10000
1000
100
10
Speciation
Extinction
Climatic processes
Dispersal
Metapopulations
Metacommunities
Fluctuations
Local species
turnover
patches
1
1
10
100
1000
10000
100000
1000000 10000000
2
Spatial scale [m ]
Evolutionary processes
Ecological processes
Predation
Disturbance
Competition
Dispersal
Metapopulations
Spatial processes
Speciation
Extinction
Geological processes
Lecture program
1. Introduction
2. Fundamental relationships in macroecology
3. Metabolic theory
4. Diversity and productivity I
5. Diversity and productivity II
6. Latitudinal gradients
7. Patterns at ecological time scales
8. Local and regional diversities
9. Fragmented landscapes
10. Neutral models in macroecology
11. Body sizes
12. Invasive species
13. Global change I
14. Global change II
15. Phylogeny and ecology
Scources of knowledge
Literature:
Brown JH 1995. Macroecology. Univ. Press, Chicago.
Gaston KJ, Blackburn TM 2000. Pattern and Process in
Macroecology Blackwell Sci. Publ, Oxford.
Blackburn TM, Gaston KJ (eds) 2003. Macroecology:
Concepts and Consequences. Blackwell Scientific
Publications, Oxford.
Journals:
Ecography
Journal of Biogeography
Diversity and Distributions
Ecology Letters
Global Ecology and Biogeography
Internet sources:
http://www.macroecology.org/
http://www.biome.group.shef.ac.uk/
The whole lecture is available at
our workgroup homepage
http://www.ento.vt.edu/~sharov/PopEcol/popecol.html
www.uni.torun.pl/~urichw
Other macroecological tools
Analysis of large scale spatial data
GIS methods
Statistical methods for relating
environmental variables to
distribution maps
Mantel test
Spatial correlation
Multidimensional scaling
Analysis of climatological
palaeontological data
Time series analysis
Spectral analysis
Analysis of recent faunistic and floristic
surveys
Co-occurrence analysis
Nestedness analysis
Today’s reading
What is macroecology?: http://www.macroecology.org
Meta-analysis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta-analysis
http://wilderdom.com/research/meta-analysis.html
Alexander v. Humboldt: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_von_Humboldt

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